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Russian ministry approves international company for South Stream construction

July 01, 2014, 16:48 UTC+3 MOSCOW
It will start landfall works specified in project documentation, laying a 3-kilometre pipeline linked to Russian monopoly Gazprom’s supply system
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©  EPA/SERGEI KARPUKHIN / POOL

MOSCOW, July 01. /ITAR-TASS/. Russia's Ministry of Construction has licensed Amsterdam-based international operator South Stream Transport to start groundwork for laying the South Stream pipeline taking Russian gas to Europe, the company says in a news release.

It will start landfall works specified in project documentation, laying a 3-kilometre pipeline linked to Russian monopoly Gazprom’s supply system.

A permit for laying underwater cables and pipelines on Russia's continental shelf and territorial waters is stilll awaited from the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, under Russian law.

The permit triggers construction of technical infrastructure, ground pipelines and four micro-tunnels. Tunnels mean building work is clear of the coastline, helping preserve the natural landscape of shallow waters.

Gazprom reported on Tuesday that South Stream Transport had started siting a construction complex near the Russia city of Anapa on the Black Sea coast. This would provide approach roads, enable delivery of construction machinery, equipment and materials, and put measures in place to protect rare animals and plants.

South Stream Transport is a joint venture to run the pipeline on the floor of the Black Sea from Russia to Bulgaria's coast at Varna. The company is owned by Gazprom (50%), Italy’s Eni (20%) and France’s EDF and Germany’s Wintershall (15% each).

Planned annual throughput is rated at 63 billion cubic metres. Pipelines will be laid in Russian territorial waters in November, for scheduled commissioning by late 2015.

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